Sending large files?

This problem comes up occasionally - I want to send some large files (hundreds of megabytes) to someone else. They're too big for email, I don't want to share them with the world, can't just burn a DVD, and neither of us has a computer that is constantly connected to the internet.

I usually resort to putting them up at my web space temporarily under an obscure directory name, but that's not ideal, since I need to remember to take them down, and have to make sure I tell search engines that they're not to be spidered.

Doesn't this seem like a problem that should have been solved already? It should be very simple to just send a file once to someone, asynchronously, and not have to worry about anyone else getting it, or taking it down, or going over your bandwidth limit or email attachment limit.

If you have a clever way of sending large files around, let me know in the comments. (Update, hours later- comments are enabled now, I don't know what happened there)


New Powerbooks, whatever they call them. I'm not sure I'll be able to say "MacBook Pro" without a self-conscious wince.

4x faster is a nice number - the memory bandwidth numbers (6.3x faster) are certainly impressive. I'll have to avoid using one so I don't start hating my 1.25Ghz G4.

A little disappointed that there's no massive design change - it's a bit thinner, but I'm still hoping someone will solve the core ergonomic problem of laptop screens - why can't I slide it up about six inches when I'm using it?

I love the claim that it'll be cooler and use less battery power, but I'll wait to hear what people say.

I think the killer 3rd party accessory for this will be a magnetic adapter for old power supplies - it's a nice new design, but lots of people have more than one power supply, and they're expensive to replace.

Takk… etc.

I bought three new albums with my iTunes gift card this Christmas, and I thought I'd share how they've turned out so far:

  1. Takk… by Sigur Ros. I bought this because I liked their last album, the parentheses one, and because John Allison's hilarious year end album review seemed to imply it was more of the same: "Everyone is fooled!" I find that I do like it just as much, but unlike all those Untitled songs in the last one, I don't mind listening to these songs when the sun is out. A fun game for casual fans is to play songs from the two albums together at random, and try to guess which album they're from. I call this the "Coldplay game".

  2. Late Registration by Kanye West. Everyone says it's great, and I don't listen to radio or watch MTV anyway, so I can't be annoyed by overplayed singles. I really like this album. Great for playing really loud while driving someone else's car across the desert at perfectly legal speeds. Luckily I live in Southern California, so nobody looks at me funny when my pale white fingers crank the volume on the way to my hockey game. I think my favorite track here is "Addiction".

  3. Final Straw by Snow Patrol. I've listened to it a few times already, it seems like there's a few great songs in there, a few I won't ever remember, and I have a nagging feeling that this will become another Josh Joplin Group, who I loved for three weeks and almost always skip past now. Which would be sad. If there was one song to get from this album, I think it'd be "Chocolate", not "Run", which was the big single. So there it is.

Bounty County

I've written about open-source programming bounties before, and found a new one yesterday: Bounty County, which looks reasonable enough despite the name.

I didn't see any OS X projects on there yet - it's mostly Gnome stuff - but I'm sure they would list a Mac bounty if you sent it in.

Unlike some proposals I have seen for bounty sites, this doesn't appear to do anything other than list bounties - they don't hold money or evaluate completion. Maybe that's all that it takes, but I'm not sure - I think it'd be more tempting to try for bounties if there were guarantees that my time would be well-spent. Think of the difference between selling things on eBay vs. craigslist - they both work, but craigslist always seems a little sketch.

Reading CHM files on OS X

I had to look at some docs that were in Microsoft Help format - '.chm', or 'Compiled HTML'. It looks like a compressed, possibly indexed web archive format. Luckily, I only had to look for a minute before I found an OS X reader for CHM files that I like - Chmox. It gives you the pages and the index, then basically gets out of your way.


I gave my brother a Terrapass for Christmas this year, since he's kind of hard to shop for, and he owns a Jeep. The idea is that depending on what kind of car you have, and how much you drive it, you give them some amount of money that they invest in clean energy projects. The amount is supposed to be enough to reduce industrial carbon dioxide emissions by the same amount that your car will contribute in a year.

It's an interesting version of carbon credits for individuals, and even more surprising is that they are trying to make a profit doing this - I'm curious to see if this kind of venture takes off.

I found the idea through here, and they also point out another way to offset your carbon contribution via a non-profit, and not just tied to your car, at - this is particularly interesting since as their page on your impact notes, you contribute towards CO2 emissions in more ways than just driving.

Discontinuing Blapp

I've decided to switch over to MarsEdit, and as a result I will now most likely stop maintaining Blapp, my simple OS X blosxom weblog editor.

It's been a lot of fun through seven versions, starting with my original post about it, to Rael Dornfest (the author of blosxom) picking it up and the v2 release, when it became actually useful. I released it as open source in October of 2002, and got some great contributions from Scott Anguish, Glenn Vanderburg, and Bob Schumaker.

I'd like to extend thanks to everyone who contributed to the project and to everyone who used it - it's been fun.

There's a lot to love about Blapp, and if you use Blosxom, I'd still recommend it - but times do seem to have left Blosxom behind, and even though I really haven't been maintaining it anyway, I'm writing this to make it official that I'm done working on Blapp, and if anyone would like to take it over and keep maintaining it, they should shoot me an email or comment on this post.

There are some features in Blapp that I wish I had in MarsEdit - I liked the Links Window (although it really could have done more) and I still prefer the more flexible live preview with CSS.

I also had a convenient setup for dragging URLs into a post with some default HTML to save typing.

However, MarsEdit could get some of those features, while Blapp will probably never do all that MarsEdit already does. (Like drafts!)

Macsbug in GDB

I was digging around the gdb source and found that there's a plugin in there that supports macsbug style screens and commands from within gdb. If you have the XCode Tools installed, take a look at the Readme on your own (OS X) system at the file /usr/libexec/gdb/plugins/MacsBug/Readme.html

To invoke it, type this at the GDB prompt:

load-plugin /usr/libexec/gdb/plugins/MacsBug/MacsBug_plugin



and you've got the old split screen with the register contents on the left.

I never used macsbug for anything real, but this still held some nostalgic value.

With the times

I've been behind the times on weblog technology for a while now, so when I noticed that pair had a pre-packaged WordPress install I could use on my account, I thought I'd take the opportunity to move from Blapp, which I love because it is my own code, to MarsEdit, which does more and doesn't need me to maintain it.

I've updated my Feedburner feed to the new URL:, but the old weblog URL is still around for permanence.